Cushenberry takes first win OF 2008 in ProKart Challenge South Utah contingent invades Fontana as PKC South regulars put in dominant performances FONTANA, CA (June 28, 2008) -- The Superkarts! USA ProKart Challenge South put the fourth round...
Cushenberry takes first win OF 2008 in ProKart Challenge South
Utah contingent invades Fontana as PKC South regulars put in dominant performances
FONTANA, CA (June 28, 2008) -- The Superkarts! USA ProKart Challenge South put the fourth round of its season in the books this past weekend (June 28) at the CalSpeed Karting facility in Fontana, CA, running the 3/4-mile Nuovo circuit in the clockwise direction. Continuing to provide a full day of racing in a positive and enjoyable atmosphere, the PKC South program has shown the ability to bring in the best drivers from around the Western half of the United States. Among this list is a strong contingent from the state of Utah, led this weekend by an emerging young star named Patrick Cushenberry.
The S3 Light class is the most competitive category in the PKC South line-up, as it remains the building block for Stock Moto growth throughout the country. Championship leader Bobby Legate was fastest in qualifying, edging Cushenberry by just 0.050-seconds for the pole position. That would be the only session that the Utah driver would be denied his position at the head of the class. In Heat #1, Cushenberry led all 12 laps, holding off Legate by just two-tenths at the line. The second moto would see a Utah 1-2-3, as Mike Beeny finished just half a second back of Cushenberry at the line, with fellow MSquared Karting driver Tyler Bennett running third, right in front of Legate. In the 20-lap Final, it was Bennett's turn to ride Cushenberry's bumper, as Patrick would be pushed to lead green-to-checkered for his first PKC victory of 2008, winning by half a second at the line. Former S3 champion Nick Halen advanced to third with Bonnier Moulton, an LA transplant by way of Utah, coming home in fourth ahead of Legate.
The battle for 'King of the Hill' in S3 Heavy continued in Round #4, but what has been a three-man skirmish has now turned into a four-driver fight as Rob Whitley took his first feature win of the year. Phil Conte led the field for the majority of the day, taking top qualifying honors along with the two heat race wins. Conte continued to pace the field in the 20-lap feature; however, he would find Whitley and championship leader Marty Henderson on his bumper to begin the battle.
Whitley made his move with six laps to go, bringing Henderson with him to push Conte back to third. They would finish that way with Whitley taking the checkered flag by just three-tenths of a second.
TaG Senior was all Trackmagic up front with Alex Speed and Will Martindale taking the top spots on the day. Speed paced the field in qualifying and the first heat, with Martindale parked on his tail before they swapped positions in Heat #2. Speed led the field in the 20-lap Final with Martindale on his bumper once again -- until mechanical issues put Speed on the sidelines on lap 16. This allowed Martindale to cruise to the win, making it two-for-two in PKC South competition for the Northern California driver. Championship leader Zach Dericco was a solid second ahead of Nicola Galloni. Second overall in the combined TaG feature was TaG Masters winner Billy Cleavelin, earning his fourth straight win on the year to extend his point lead over second place finisher Greg Smith and third place Matt Kimball.
It was a clean sweep in the S1 and G2 divisions, as Jacob Neal and Steve Donia brought their brooms to Fontana to lead their respective classes in each on-track session. Neal continues to improve in his first year aboard an ICC machine. However, mechanical issues put him at the tail of both the S1 and G1 fields at the start. Cody Hodgson, who tangled with another driver in Heat #2, also started from the tail of the field, but he got to the point early as Neal slowly worked his way to the front. Neal would eventually assume the top spot and go on to the win, ahead of Hodgson and point leader Jimmy McNeil. Donia was in a groove all day, taking the G2 feature win by 16 seconds for his third victory of the year to put him and second place finisher Eric Ortega in a tight championship fight. Darrell Tunnell completed the G2 podium. Troy Butts nearly had a sweep in the G1 category until he retired at the halfway point, handing the feature win to Brad Dhesi. Butts would end up second in the results with championship leader Robert Marks ending his race on lap two, halting his win streak to three.
S4 Light was 'The Musgrave & Miller Show'. Billy Musgrave earned top qualifier honors, while Willy Musgrave and Bryce Miller split the heat wins. In the Feature, the two Musgraves shuffled with Bryce, until engine failure took Bryce out while dropping Willy back in the pack. This allowed Billy Musgrave to take his first victory of the season. Corey Neveau and Jimmy Barnes joined him on the podium. Alex King was nearly unstoppable in S4 Heavy, taking a dominant win. Challenged early by Ken Schilling, who edged King for the pole by just 0.002-seconds, Schilling retired early in the 20-lap feature, allowing King to cruise to the win over Robert Morales.
The S5 Junior shifter class, though light on entries, saw a great duel between SuperNats competitors Nicholas Silva and Dylan Kwasniewski. Silva was top qualifier and the two split the heat wins. Kwasniewski got the jump at the start of the feature and held that advantage over the 20 laps for the victory.
During the event, PKC staffer and former series champion Kyle Zirkle was injured when a kart went off the track and struck him, knocking him to the ground. He suffered a concussion, a skull fracture, and a broken left leg. Surgeons installed a rod and pins in his leg on Sunday, and Kyle's other injuries are healing on their own. He was able to return home on Monday evening to welcoming family and friends. PKC would like to wish Kyle a speedy recovery.
On deck for this PKC series will be a journey south in 3 1/2 weeks to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA -- a perfect track for mid-summer racing! Round #5 will be held July 25-26 at the temporary circuit in the stadium's West parking lot. For more information about this event and to check out the line-up of year-end prizes available to ProKart Challenge competitors, head to www.prokartchallenge.com.